Syracuse Football: Notre Dame outmuscles and crushes No. 16 Orange

Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
Syracuse football (Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images) /

Well, I was curious to see what kind of response No. 16 Syracuse football would have after blowing a fourth-quarter lead at No. 5 Clemson a weekend ago.

The Orange, once again dealing with injuries, gave it all the team had, but Notre Dame pushed the ‘Cuse around and throttled Syracuse football, 41-24, from the JMA Wireless Dome on Saturday afternoon.

Notre Dame (5-3) came into the 2022 stanza as a preseason top-10 squad, but the Fighting Irish certainly had its share of struggles leading up to this non-conference collision on the Hill.

But Notre Dame showed this Saturday that it is a talented squad, and the Orange’s Mob defense couldn’t slow down the Fighting Irish rushing attack.

Throw in a pick-six from Notre Dame at this contest’s onset, another interception that led to a touchdown, and a blocked punt that resulted in seven points, and those three sequences played a key role in the ‘Cuse (6-2) falling for the second game in a row after starting out 2022 at 6-0.

Syracuse football was merely outmuscled by Notre Dame in a home setback.

The Orange defense, already having lost several key guys to season-ending injuries, saw star cornerback Garrett Williams, unfortunately, get injured.

He didn’t play in the second half. Neither did starting quarterback Garrett Shrader, who appeared to suffer an injury as well in the first half.

Back-up quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson, a transfer from Florida, came in for Shrader, and he threw some really nice passes, including a touchdown score. Del Rio-Wilson did have an interception on a pass that was deflected up into the air and hauled in by a Notre Dame defender.

For the afternoon, the Fighting Irish offensive line pushed the ‘Cuse around, helping pave the way for nearly 250 rushing yards secured by Notre Dame.

The Fighting Irish didn’t do a ton in the passing game, but the team’s success on the ground resulted in methodical drives that kept the Syracuse football defense on the field.

I’m proud of the effort that the ‘Cuse defense put forth, regardless of the final score. The Mob was fighting until the very end, even making a goal-line stand with about two to three minutes left and forcing Notre Dame to kick a field goal.

However, after these two tough games, a Syracuse football defense already faced with some depth issues looked really, really gassed. The Fighting Irish had the ball on offense for about 15 minutes more than the Orange, and that’s a problem.

Conversely, the ‘Cuse offense only accumulated about 60 rushing yards. Both Syracuse football quarterbacks threw a passing touchdown, but Shrader had a pick-six, and an unfortunate interception against Del Rio-Wilson resulted in a touchdown as well.

After trailing 21-7 at the half and 24-7 in the third quarter, the Orange found some life. The ‘Cuse rattled off 10 unanswered points to cut the margin to 24-17 heading into the fourth quarter.

But the pick by Del Rio-Wilson, and Notre Dame blocking a punt and then scoring a touchdown on the next play, deflated Syracuse football and its fan base.

The Fighting Irish would stretch its advantage to 38-17, basically ending the game. The Orange would get a touchdown, and Notre Dame would add a field goal, for the final score of 41-24. It is the most points that the ‘Cuse has allowed in an encounter so far this term.

Syracuse football, mired in a bit of a slump, will next travel to Pittsburgh on Saturday, Nov. 5, to face the Panthers, a long-time rival. The kick-off is scheduled for 3:30 pm, with the ACC Network providing television coverage.

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